Black Xantus | Humboldt Brewing Co.

Black XantusBlack Xantus
BA SCORE
91.4%
Liked This Beer
4.18 w/ 1,363 ratings
Black XantusBlack Xantus
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Humboldt Brewing Co.
California, United States
humboldtbrewingco.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Barrel aged for 6 months in combination of Bourbon, retired Firestone Union and wine barrels and Infused with fair-trade, organic coffee from local roaster Jobella.

Style: Imperial Java Stout IBUs: 50 Color: Black ABV: 11%

Added by ThreeWiseMen on 10-09-2009

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,241
Reviews:
435
Ratings:
1,363
Liked:
1,246
Avg:
4.18/5
pDev:
10.05%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
129
Gots:
374
Trade:
27
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,363 |  Reviews: 435
Photo of TheSixthRing
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours black with cola brown edging and a khaki colored head that peaks just under a finger before rolling back fairly quick, leaving behind a mostly barren surface with a fine island of suds in the center and a razor thin ring around the edge of the glass. Nothing for lace.

Smell - Interesting aroma, for sure. Notes of toffee and coffee, with lesser bourbon and oak. A light, cola-like caramel sweetness.

Taste - Good flavor, but a bit condensed and it hits you all at once. Vanilla, coffee, milk chocolate, bourbon, toffee and oak all hit upfront, then the vanilla and coffee fades, leaving the oak and bourbon with underlying toffee and chocolate sweetness as the brew rounds out into the finish. Maybe a hint of raisin fruitiness in there somewhere. Aftertaste lingers with mild wood, faint chocolate, toffee and a trace of molasses.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with moderate carbonation. Creamy at first before turning dry and slightly sticky in the finish.

Overall - Humboldt Brewing's website says this thing packs a punch, and they aren't lying. The brew absolutely bursts with flavor upfront, but it ultimately fades much too quickly, leaving the brew feel a bit hollow on the backend. Really good beer overall, but leaves a desire for the flavor profile to play out in a much longer, more wide-spread composition.

Oddly enough, the aftertaste is almost spot-on to Firestone-Walker's Sucaba, which is a BA barleywine, but since this is made at FW's brewery, maybe some flavor similarities shouldn't be too unexpected.

 1,542 characters

Photo of kdivers
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sulldaddy
4.66/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sampling a cellar temp 22 oz bottle that I am pouring into a snifter. Picked this beer off the shelf because my daughter liked the humming bird on the label. Hope to enjoy this one. The beer pours a dark cola brown with a spongey tan head of 4 cm foaming up even with a gentle pour. there are some deep garnet highlights when I hold the glass up to the light. The aroma is a malty complex smorgasbord of scents. I get molasses, coffee grounds, brown sugar, a little vanilla and a good dose of roasted malt. no real hop presence that I can detect and actually the 11% seems to be hidden as there isnt a strong peppery boozy note that I pick up.
First sip reveals a bit of a thicker body but not syrupy, I also get fine and spacious carbonation that does tickle my palate a little as i swallow each mouthful.
The flavor of the beer is what was advertised by the nose. The beer starts with some sweet brown sugar and roasted malt, which rolls to more roast and coffee ground and finishes with a deep hit of molasses, vanilla and some raisin and finishes fairly dry with just a hint of alcohol warmth. This beer is still very drinkable for 11% and seems to fit the role of Imperial Stout very well. This is a very nice beer for a cool fall evening.

 1,249 characters

Photo of jschott75
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of swampoodle
4.61/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of madelf66
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bongobeer
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of KGilmour
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Amguerra305
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a somewhat thin cola brown that looked black in the glass but you could almost see all the way through it. Did not get any barrel smell and I did not even know it was barrel aged until I went to rate it. Poured way too thin for me to think of that. The smell was rather unremarkable as it just consisted of roast and fermentation but not in a pleasant balanced way, more in your face and harsh. The taste in this beer completely blew me away as it tasted nothing like what it smelled like. Tastes rich and balanced with a pleasant stout coffee/chocolate note on the friend followed by a bitter hop/roast bite. A tad too bitter for my own tastes but still excellent. It did not feel nearly as thin as it looked. Actually felt kind of chewy despite being so thin. Overall a beer that I think would have improved substantially with age. It lacked a nose and just poured too thing for this to be world class. The taste was spot for what a stout should be.

 958 characters

Photo of Ohiovania
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of zachthelaxer93
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of kalosjakar
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a tan head that is creamy in appearance.

Aroma: milk chocolate, mild bourbon, vanilla, toffee, oak, have to search for the wine with deep whiffs but its there.

Taste: chocolate hits even as you slosh it around your mouth. then roasted notes, followed by sweet bourbon, vanilla, milk chocolate, so much going on here. a bit of booze on the back end but im drinking this close to fresh. notes of cherry in the finish as well. a bit too sweet though.

Feel: soft, chewy, fudgy, silky, wet.

 511 characters

Photo of ruzzal
3.79/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Vylo
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Cuervo_PCB
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SimcoeKid
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Boccu
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aroma of booze, coffee and malt. Pours dark and rich with a nice head. Taste of booze very light then a roasted malt to a roasted coffee to a light wine with a vanilla finish. Really really good. Very smooth yet complex. Very strong imperial stout. This is right up my alley as I am a huge stout fan.

 301 characters

Photo of Sabtos
3.19/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Black with a light tan, thin, soft head.

Smell is a confusing raisin and cocoa, like a stouty barleywine.

On the tongue an immediate burn of alcohol hits right up front, from the bourbon barrel, with a raisin attribute following through from the wine barrel. Chocolate and dry bitter coffee try to come in here and there but are overpowered by the barrel treatments.

Thin, but good froth.

 391 characters

Photo of mac31
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On draft, tulip

Sweet, rich, dark chocolate, bittersweet cocoa, intense, creamy and chewy-all in the entry. One amazing start to a beer. The Dark chocolate rolls right in to a nice shot of thick, rich espresso. Bitterness from the dark malts and coffee teams up well with the subtle, mild, earthy hops. This would be a bitter bomb if we're not for that bourbon barrel sweetness that balances everything out. The bourbon barreling makes this a wonderful, cohesive brew. Nice creamy mouthfeel. The alcohol is hidden very well, drinks more like an 8% beer than an 11%. Soft, inviting carbonation lends to even more drinkability. The beer finishes fairly dry. A complex beer for sure. I've seen this in bottle shops around town, but never knew what a jewel this was. This can be viewed as the little brother of the famed FSW Parabola, as they were both once part of the FSW family of beers before being sold off. I see the similarities. I think this beer, while not as refined as Parabola, does have a little more personality. Without a doubt, this is a great beer. Get it! Have it! Enjoy it! I did! And will again.

 1,112 characters

Photo of BcOneSeven
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Beejay
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1100th Review!

A: Dark black in color with deep brown at the edges when held to the light. A dense brown head rises out of the body of the beer.

S: Rich molasses at first. Followed by vanilla, brown sugar, oak, rich caramel malt, and a coffee finish. More barrel comes out as it warms.

T: Rich and malty with vanilla notes, followed by oak, and finishing with espresso and some earthiness in a long linger. While it is cold there is a bit of a harsh edge in the finish, as it warms the flavors deepen and smooth out into a luxurious rich melding of coffee, barrel, and brew.

M: RIch and thick body with some nice creaminess. Carbonation is fine, but perhaps a tad high for the style, although I do think that it keeps it from becoming to syrupy.

O: Overall, this is a damn fine beer, just lovely.

 806 characters

Photo of hoping4hopps
4.82/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed this beer in celebration of my next few steps in bettering mine and my family's self. Delicious and thick, this brew don't hesitate to spring forward with an onslaught of dark roasted barley and is wonderfully infused with the perfect amount of coffee. Overall delicious would seek it out again and would recomendable to anyone who has a preference towards coffee ales.

 378 characters

Photo of Drew_V_dt
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of I3eer
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of IckyT2012
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black Xantus from Humboldt Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91.4% out of 100 with 1,363 ratings
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